The Academy of Country Music (ACM) and their reigning Entertainer Of The Year Keith Urban have unveiled Alabama singer Riley Green and Canadian country star Tenille Townes as winners of Male and Female Artist of The Year via surprise video calls this morning.
The unexpected reveal comes three weeks ahead of the 55th ACM Awards set to air on Wednesday, September 16 featuring performances, unprecedented collaborations, surprising moments and more!
It's been an incredible year for Riley Green since the last ACM Awards, releasing his latest album 'Different 'Round Here' featuring hit single There Was This Girl which climb #10 on the Billboard Hot Country chart.
"When we had to come off the road back in March, I wasn't sure what the rest of 2020 would look like. So much has happened in the world since then and I'm really excited to have a moment to play music again. My grandfathers' love for country music is what led me to this moment and I have to dedicate this award to them. Thank you to everyone who believes in my music enough to let this boy from Alabama get to share this songs like this," said Green.
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Tenille Townes had a similarly stellar year with her single Jersey On The Wall (I'm Just Asking) rocketing up the Canadian country charts to claim the #1 spot.
"I'll always remember this feeling, standing here as a new artist. I feel so honored and incredibly grateful just to be a part of this country music community that inspires me. Receiving this ACM Awards feels like belief from that community, and that means so much to me," said Tenille Townes.
Other nominees in the categories included Jordan Davis, Russell Dickerson, Cody Johnson, Morgan Wallen, Ingrid Andress, Gabby Barrett, Lindsay Ell and Caylee Hammack.
"This year's New Artists have experienced astounding success already, and the Academy feels honored to be able to present them with their first ACM Award win. We hope this is a memory that they will carry with them as their careers continue to thrive," said ACM CEO, Damon Whiteside.
"A huge congratulations to all of this year's well-deserving nominees and special thank you to the artists' teams who helped the Academy pull off the surprise, especially our host Keith Urban for making this moment monumental. We can't wait to see Riley and Tinille on the 55th ACM Awards stage on September 16!"